The Cantabria Region travel trade meeting took place recently in the Penthouse of the Imperial Hotel, Cork.
The presentation of the tourist destination, ‘Cantabria Infinita’, was followed by a dinner showcasing regional products from the Cantabria Region. Key tourism professionals from the Cork area were present, as it was the perfect occasion for media and trade to meet Francisco Martín Gallego, Counsellor of Innovation, Industry, Tourism and Trade, Cantabrian Government, and other tourism authorities of this Spanish region.
The campaign also included a promotional stand for the public in the Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre, and will be followed up with a trade presentation in Dublin in the autumn. Irish people visiting Cantabria can choose between flying to Santander from Dublin or taking the ferry from Cork.
The event was hosted by Francisco Martín, Cantabrian Government, and Teresa Gancedo, Director, Spanish Tourist Office, Dublin. Also attending were Eva Bartolomé, Director General of Tourism, Government of Cantabria, and Catalina Goode, Vice Consul of Spain, Cork.
The event was a celebration of the launch of the sea connection that Brittany Ferries has operated since 10th May 2018 between Cork and Santander ports. This is the first and only direct ferry line between Spain and Ireland. The service operates twice weekly to Santander, capital of the province of Cantabria in the north of Spain.
Cantabria was recently declared to be one of the Best in Europe Essential Destinations for 2018 by the Lonely Planet travel guide, the only region in Spain to receive this prestigious award.
The Cantabrian’s Tourism Counsellor highlighted that the Brittany Ferries sea connection between the ports of Santander and Cork “opens new commercial and tourist horizons to Cantabria” and is “an open door to the arrival of Irish tourists and businesses”.
Martín invited the travel agents and journalists in attendance to visit and get to know Cantabria and, in this way, experience a destination that has almost everything (beaches, surf, mountains, amazing gastronomy and with something for everyone). Cantabria offers a bit of everything. The coastline is made up of low cliffs, stunning beaches and colourful fishing ports. The variable weather gives the land beautiful shades of green on the soft hills and inland mountains that are fascinating to explore with ancient villages and farmland.
The capital city, Santander, provides a slice of urban life, with long beaches and lively bodegas. Santillana del Mar is a quaint medieval town nearby and Comillas, a famous university town, is worth a visit – try the bocartes (sardines) and rabas (squid rings) there. The prehistoric art of Altamira, El Castillo and Covalanas caves is some of the oldest and finest in the world.
Cantabria’s rugged ranges finish at the mountain walls of the Picos de Europa in the west.